Hen dead this am, is something in my flock?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JerseyHen, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mixed flock between 19 and 20 weeks of age, no eggs yet, but they look very close. They have a clean, enclosed coop with pine bedding (just cleaned and put in fresh a few days ago), great ventilation, enclosed run and get out to free range a couple hours a day. No symptoms of any kind (that I can see) in the flock. No runny eyes or nose, no cough or sneeze, no funny poop, no mites, ticks, fleas, or other cootie, great appetities, very active. A couple of birds have some swelling around the eyes, but it looks to be pecking trauma.

    Info on hen in question: barred rock, just short of 20 weeks, just changed over to layer feed 2 days ago, no trauma or other obvious injury, no runny eyes or nose, no off coloration, only odd behavior was that I found her panting under the coop (weather was cool), and her crop was empty at bedtime. She was hesitant to go up on the roosts last night. She didn't have any swelling anywhere, no mites, no other parasites, no cough or sneeze. The only thing I did notice was that she had poop on her back fluff and it was light in color and looked a bit chalky. I noticed the poop there two days ago, but she seemed fine otherwise so I cleaned it off a bit and let her back with the rest.could this be an eggbound hen? Could it be some poison? There doesn't seem to be anything around she could have gotten into (except for some of the old barn foam insulation, but I covered that up weeks ago.) I have no dea what killed this sweet little pullet and I don't want to lose any more. This is my first time with chickens.please help!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Jersey, I`m gonna throw out a possibilty. See whatcha think. Some chickens stress out at the least little change, like feed, bedding, even the source of their drinking water can stress some of them. Pasty butt is often caused by stress. Pasty but is a symptom of constipation. The light colored stuff that builds up on the fluff is chicken urine, which usually accompanies a bowel movement. If the bird is constipated, the white stuff, being mostly liquid, can pass, but not be carried away by a normal dropping. Mollasses is a natural laxative for fowl. Mix it in their drinking water to look like weak tea for one day. That will cure pasty butt, but ya gotta clean their butts off initially. Look at your other birds to see if any have the pasting problem and if not, don`t worry about it. If so, you now know what to do. Often pasty butt just goes away on it`s own, but a severe case may lead to a lot of pain, even death. Hope this helps ya........Pop
     
  3. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did check for pasting up and the vent was clear. It just seemed to have gotten hung up in the fluff, but I see what you mean that the liquidy stuff might pass! But trhey are still constipated. The other birds seem to be pooping well. Parhaps it was the change in bedding (I made sure to clean it while they were out) and food stressed the bird out too much. Will giving them molasses be a problem for the birds that are not constipated?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well it just so happens I picked up the new copy of Hobby Farms Chickens magazine and it has an article on "egg bound" chickens.

    "What to look for". The penquin: The most common and unmistakable indicator of egg binging is a hen with ruffled feathers, appearing puffed up and penguin like. ......
    Immobility and illness: You may find your bird sitting on the floor or ground looking ill,not eating drinking or relieving herself..................
    Straining: Does your bird appear to be straining to lay? ..........................................


    Now there is more to these passages but I'm not a great at typing and have bad hands so this will have to do. It does go on to say that egg binding is difficult to cure and it does give some advice on what to do, but it's not always successful.

    As for the OP's bird I suspect either worms or just an hereditary thing that with out an autopsy won't be known. Unfortunately losing an occasional bird is a fact of chicken keeping. However the first rule of thumb upon finding a sick or injured bird is isolation.

    Even taking all the precautions , providing the best environment and feed money can buy , we still lose the occasional bird without any apparent reason.

    Now if the OP was losing one after the other or multiple birds then I would be concerned. With no real symptoms it could be something genetic that revealed itself as the hen grew.

    Further info on egg binding:

    "An egg bound hen is commonly the result of incomplete nutrition, such as poor quality feed, the wrong ration for a birds' stage of life or a calcium deficiency. Some attribute egg binding to "fat hens,", but more likely than an over weight chickens is an unfit one,. If a bird is unable to build muscle through exercise, usually due to excessive confinement, fat store may accumulate around her reproductive tract, rendering the muscle to weak to pass the egg. Other causes include: severe cold, heavy worm infestation, scar tissue or inflammation from a previous egg bind, or the lodging of a malformed /abnormally large egg. Egg binding can even be hereditary, so it is crucial to note this condition in your breeding stock. Young pullets at point of lay or older hens near the end of their productivity are the most susceptible.

    I am sorry for your loss and hope this helps somewhat.

    Rancher
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:If nobody else has that discharge, I wouldn`t bother with the mollasses. Like Rancher sez, losing one now and then is common, even with np appearant problem. I wouldn`t think eggbound, but anything is possible, even heart failure in a pullet. Hope ya don`t have any reaccurences........Pop
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Just an after thought.

    While we try to keep things clean and tidy, mites are always possible and IMO there in some degree or another. Somethings I like to do just in case.

    ACV once a month,

    Vitamins in small amounts once a month, only for one days watering. Over doing vits can cause kidney problems.

    DE in the coop and on the birds and in the dusting holes when dry.

    Worming with Eprinex twice a year or more if the area is wetter than most.


    However like I said the loss of a bird could just be life as it is, with no apparent cause.

    I wish everyone the best,

    Rancher
     
  7. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the ideas. I wonder if I waited too long to switch them to layer feed? I wasn't sure if they had reached "point of lay" since they were showing no interest in the nesting boxes and were not doing any squatting. Half of the flock's combs are still only pink, so I didn't want to start too early on it. She was in one of the nesting box areas when she died. Now her sister is working out the nesting boxes today and is snuggled in. I have no idea what "normal" egglaying looks like, but she doesn't seem to be in distress. It will be our first egg, if she manages it. I feel like a mother waiting on her first grandbaby to be born... Geesh. There must be something wrong with me. Thank goodness for this forum.
     
  8. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we have our first egg!!!! Phew.
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Congratulations. [​IMG] [​IMG]


    rancher
     
  10. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Is it wrong that I am soooooooooo excited to get this first egg? [​IMG]
     

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